The All-Thing

All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.

`Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on ``I am not too sure''.' -- H. L. Mencken.

各位能夠讀中文得來賓您好。小的這還在學中文中,恐怕中文寫得不太好,希望你們還看得懂。


春怨 (劉方平)

紗窗日落漸黃昏,金屋無人見淚痕。
寂寞空庭春欲晚,梨花滿地不開門。

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Thu, 25 Mar 2004

The little things

He says, We'll be happy to see you in April. Then he corrects himself. I'll be happy to see you in April. I guess I'm still in the habit....

He says, "I found a local grocery store that sells all sorts of pre-made foods."

I change the entry in my cell phone, from Grandparents to Granddaddy.

Posted at 15:06 | /mortal | 4 comments | permalink

Sun, 08 Feb 2004

Yum

Well I just experienced the pinnacle of my culinary life last night with the six course chef's selection at the Federalist. Holy shit was that good. (Except for the foie gras, which is gross no matter what.) Of course each course, of course of course, was served with its own glass of wine, specially selected to complement the delicate and subtle flavors etc, which meant I got ragingly drunk and loud and I'm pretty sure offended the wife of the guest of honor. I can't imagine how I wouldn't have. The waiter (who I suspect was an ex-NFL player) threatened to cut me off after I made him "check out my teapot".

But apparently my body feels that four hours of drunken tossing and turning is enough and I've spent the last hour trying to compute my Erdos number because I can't get back to sleep. I suspect it's going to be around 6.

Posted at 05:45 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 30 Jan 2004

All the wrong places

The Orkut Ruby community doesn't have any chicks! What a gyp.

Posted at 16:22 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sat, 10 Jan 2004

Time is Ticking Away

As jwz points out, the high bit in time_t flipped at 8:37:04 this morning. When that thing rolls over one more time, I will be 60 years old, aka dead.

Watch the precious grains of William's life drop away, one by one, in the hourglass of his impending mortality by typing this:

watch –n 1 perl –e 'printf \"%b\\n\, time'"

See that bit on the far left? That's me.

Posted at 11:26 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sat, 03 Jan 2004

My 1369 Experience

  1. I don't know what that crap is they put forth as oolong tea there, but it is just (as we say in France) not good. I know I'm an insane tea snob but even when I put myself in the mental shoes of the (as we say in Chinese) hoi polloi, it just wasn't tasty. I will stick to coffee from now on.
  1. The guy in front of me had his laptop faced away from the rest of the place and was organizing his insanely extensive pr0n collection. I almost feel like he was in da bidness, from the sheer quantity and organizational sophistication, and I was tempted to ask for a hookup.

That is all.

Posted at 15:51 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Wed, 24 Dec 2003

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve, and I've managed to pass the season completely stress free. I've avoided all crowds, all malls, and all Christmas music that I hadn't specifically chosen to listen to. I have conquered Christmas.

My grandfather had a brilliant idea this year, which made this possible. Everyone in the family is paired with one other person, and that's who you exchange gifts with. You're responsible for one gift, and you receive one. Once I passed the age of 12 I realized that all my gifts were going to suck from that point forward, so one gift is just fine. (My family, god bless 'em, has forever labored under the bizarre and horrific misimpression that anything vaguely Chinese-related is guaranteed to please me.)

My solitary purchase was a pleasure to make. I walked down to Sandy's Music, chatted with the guys, played around with some of the fiddles and mandolins there for a while, picked a mandolin out for my sister, plus a nice-looking Kitty Wells LP for meself, don't mind if I do, and walked back home. And I don't watch TV (interferes with XBox time) so that pretty much does it for the Christmas carols.

At least, that's how it was until today, when my family dragged me along to some nameless, soulless strip mall packed with fat over-dressed yuppies driving their shopping carts like their SUVs (cell phone in one hand, lack of regard for the rest of mankind in the other), which is what passes for high culture in McLean, VA. I hate this place more every time I come here. At least Boston has interesting and worthwhile people, even if they all refuse to talk to me.

So the decorations are up, the fire is ready and the ol' plastic tree that we've been using since I was a baby misanthroplet is out. I know the fashion is back to nature with the real trees nowadays, but the smell of that plastic tree brings back more memories than any pine tree ever will.

I go now to prepare my mind for the festivities that lie ahead....

Posted at 15:45 | /mortal | 2 comments | permalink

Mon, 22 Dec 2003

My favorite spice

… is MSG. Seriously. You know how salt is like, you can add it to stuff at it just tastes better? MSG is the same way, except more so. And not as salty. It's like adding delicious!

I firmly believe that the only reason everyone in the US pooh-poohs it is because it has a bad English name (the Chinese, who probably invented the shit back in year –9999, call it 味精, or exquisite taste). And because a few genetically inferior people have allergies to it. (But seriously, people have allergies to peanuts and who gives a shit?)

My other favorite spices are salt, grease, spicy, meat, and garlic.

Posted at 17:41 | /mortal/ingestion | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sun, 21 Dec 2003

Dog

My aunt and uncle in South African just had their dog poisoned by burglars trying to get into their home. My uncle was woken by the commotion and managed to trigger the alarm in time. The dog died; but fortunately, nothing was stolen and no one was hurt.

I had a great time when I was there this year, but when I hear stuff like this, it reminds me that the crime rate there is just insane. I mean, it's a first-world country, basically, with all the conveniences of modern life that one would expect—for those who can afford them. But, for obvious historical reasons, there's a giant segment of the population there that is poor and unemployed. Which is nice in the sense that there's lots of cheap labor (it's typical for middle-class folks there to have maids, gardeners, etc.) but it also means a tremendous amount of crime.

I never felt threatened or even remotely in danger last July, but it seemed like everyone I talked to had some horror story, or some friend or friend of a friend who was violently killed, typically by theives. Bank robbers and car hijacking seemed to be the most common.

So all the protective mechanisms on people's houses and cars seemed so incongruous while I was there, even though, intellectually, I knew they existed for a reason. So when I hear stuff like this, sitting in my apartment with its unbarred windows and barely functional front door lock, I guess it just serves to drive that point in just a little bit deeper.

Our old house in Pretoria

Posted at 22:31 | /mortal | 1 comment | permalink

Fri, 19 Dec 2003

Work Schedule

I've been trying this new schedule at work (I have flexible hours) where I come in around 1 and work till 9. It's fucking fantastic. First, I avoid ALL traffic. Plus, I am naturally just energetic and happy in the morning, and kind of depressed and prone to loneliness in the evening, so being at work where I have work to keep myself occupied with is great. The mornings I just spend screwing around on the computer, practicing, running errands, etc., and when I get home in the evening I just have some drinkie, read a little and go to bed. Mad props to the schedule pioneers at work who showed me the way.

Posted at 18:14 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Thu, 11 Dec 2003

Rain

Must be the four years of Pittsburgh living, but now, I really like the rain. Good for sitting inside and drinking tea, looking out the window.

Man, wish I had a garden.

Posted at 16:26 | /mortal/weather | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sat, 06 Dec 2003

Snow

Snow, in December, especially on a weekend, is, despite some past statements I've made, quite acceptable.

Posted at 09:02 | /mortal/weather | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 28 Nov 2003

Deep-fried Turkey

Finally had a chance to taste the ambrosiac delicacy known as deep-fried turkey. I have been dying to try it ever since reading a Washington Post article a few years ago about how every year on Thanksgiving some number of houses are burned down in giant deep-fried-turkey-related fireballs. I don't know about you, but any food that regularly destroys houses is a food I want to try. (If the bird is not fully defrosted, then apparently it just explodes.) Plus everyone who's tasted it swears by it.

It was delicious. Not greasy at all—well-done and completely cooked, but consistently moist and oh-so tender. It looked a little scary coming out of the fryer, extremely golden brown and slightly dessicated, but it tasted fantastic. Juicy.

Now I just need to combine this with some durian and fugu to make a tasty, man-killing meal.

Posted at 08:11 | /mortal/ingestion | (leave a comment) | permalink

Mon, 24 Nov 2003

The horse killing the chicken

  1. Went out for sushi yesterday.
  2. Chatted up waitress in Mandarin.
  3. She's studying to be a masseuse.
  4. Date Wednesday.

Posted at 23:29 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Wed, 29 Oct 2003

Speeding Ticket Blues

Well originally I had this grand plan to contest the speeding ticket and dazzle them with my knowledge of cosine distance etc. and prove the radar wrong. I'm pretty sure I was caught in a perfunctory quota-filling operation. But now, on the verge of a two week trip abroad (plea due right before I get back), I realize that I don't really remember where on the long stretch of Rt. 125 it occurred, and I didn't even get a look at where the cop was stationed. So I don't think I can mount much of a defense other than I didn't do it, man. I could always plead not guilty and hope that he doesn't show up at the trial, but what if he does?

So I'm pleading nolo contendere and just take it in the ass from my insurance company for years to come.

I guess that after two and a half years of keeping it at 85 to and from work, one ticket ain't so bad. Pity it didn't occur when I was actually speeding. But who am I to expect any kind of correlation between crime and punishment?

Posted at 11:04 | /mortal | (leave a comment) | permalink

Thu, 23 Oct 2003

Hate

For fuck's fucking sake. It's snowing outside. Let's see, it's been, what, oh, SIX MONTHS since the last goddamn snowfall? That's two months for spring, two months for summer, two months for fall, and six months for winter.

Seriously. It's not like the people in this state weren't enough, with their high-ass taxes and their fucking blue laws (goddamn conservatives) and their fucking smoking ban (goddamn liberals) and their stupid name (goddamn Indians) and their ridiculous driving habits (goddamn everyone). No, now GOD HIMSELF is an asshole, when he's in Massachusetts.

Fuck. Fuck that, fuck them, and fuck you. I'm moving.

Posted at 07:21 | /mortal/weather | (leave a comment) | permalink


   

Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint. -- Mark Twain